Employees and employers fundamentally differ in their perspectives of ‘work’, and that automation elicits a different response, depending on where you are in the world. These are two of the many interesting findings of the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2017 .
What is the study?
Randstad surveyed more than 160,000 individuals from ages 18 to 65 from all over the world. They were quizzed on their opinion of ideal employers, future of work, technology, and several other things. Nearly 5,495 organizations in 26 countries were surveyed as well. Over 7,500 potential and employed employees from India participated in the survey too, and what they had to say can be found here.
What did the study find?
- Probably the biggest takeaway from the report is that in India, and all over the world, individuals are increasingly giving importance to work-life balance. Nearly 45% of all respondents thought this was an important factor while joining a new employer – the third highest factor by importance.
- While work-life balance moved up a spot, pay (58%) and job security (46%) retained their top two positions like last year. 43% of the respondents, particularly women, viewed a pleasant atmosphere as an important factor.
- A glaring discrepancy also came to the fore, as employers and the employees seem to have different expectations from each other. While job security and work-life balance took the top places from employees point of view, they were placed fourth (51%) and eighth (41%) according to organizations.
- Individuals ranked the use of latest technology as the third least important factor that an employer could offer; possibly because there is an unsaid expectation that employers will be using the latest technology anyway.
- Furthermore, international career opportunities, often the prime advantage publicized by several organizations, was actually the least important factor that individuals consider when joining a new employer.
- Technology (51%), IT (50%) and life sciences (50%) were the most popular sectors to work in, although IT took a tip from 58% to lose the top spot from last year. Construction rose up a couple of ranks (eighth to sixth), while FMCG retained its downward trend.
- Regarding automation, nearly 39% of the respondents said that they were unconcerned, and were of the belief that it would have no impact on their work at all. However, a region-wise breakup throws up interesting insights. While nearly 50% of the employees in North America and Europe were worried about the impact of automation; in contrast, only a third of the Asia-Pacific and Latin American countries believe the same. However, the report says that this could be the result of perception and lack of understanding and awareness.
- Interestingly, half the employees in Asia-Pacific and Latin America think that automation will make their job better, whereas less than 33% of the respondents believe the same in North America and Europe. Again, lack of awareness about the negative impact of automation was thought to be a prime reason for this.
- 58% of the respondents from all over the world were ready to undergo retraining as a result of automation, provided they were paid the current salary or more. Region-wise, the willingness varies: North America (51%), Europe (49%), Asia-Pacific and Latin America (69%).
How are the results relevant to Indians?
In addition to publishing the global results, Randstad has provided area-specific findings as well. While Indians, especially millennials, are increasingly valuing work-life balance, much like the rest of the world; their view on automation is rather different from their American and European peers. The results should interest anybody and everybody who plans to stay employed in the next decade or so, as they reflect what changes are about to take place, and how are different stakeholders view them.
The findings of the survey reiterate the dynamic nature of the workforce and their changing priorities. With potential and current employees valuing work-life balance more than ever, employers will have to budge sooner than later. Automation too has different responses from different people, and a lot will depend on how organizations and individuals choose to make the transition to a paradigm that uses more machines. Finally, the results show different employees and employers priorities and are an insight to understand today’s corporate world better.